The remains of two people have been found at the scene of the five-alarm fire at the Barclay Friends nursing home in West Chester, authorities said late Tuesday.
The remains of one victim were found Tuesday morning and a second victim’s later in the afternoon, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced in a statement. The Chester County Coroner’s Office transported the remains from the scene.
Four residents were reported missing and presumed dead after the blaze, from late last Thursday into early Friday, that injured 27 residents and forced the evacuation of 137 other residents.
The families of the four missing residents were notified of the discovery of the remains, officials said.
The missing residents included a married couple, an 89-year-old wife and 92-year-old husband, and two other women, ages 85 and 93. The names of the missing residents have not been made public.
The remains were located by a team comprised of personnel from ATF, Pennsylvania State Police, and the Chester County Fire Marshal’s Office.
Last week, Kenneth McGill of West Chester told the Inquirer and Daily News that he and his wife, Kathy, were waiting for word about Kathy’s parents, residents of a unit for those with memory impairment. McGill declined to name the couple.
Investigators were still trying to determine the cause of the fire and were expected to continue working through the Thanksgiving holiday, authorities said.
“The thoughts and prayers of the men and women of ATF are with the families of the victims during this difficult time,” Special Agent in Charge Donald Robinson said in the statement. “Their losses only strengthen our resolve to provide answers to them as a result of our investigation of this tragedy.”
The fire erupted in the rear of the two-story complex at 700 N. Franklin St. about 10:45 p.m. and raged for more than 2½ hours. There were about 160 staff and residents at Barclay Friends when the fire broke out.